While many traditional businesses are still struggling to make use of social media, airlines are taking to the internet to streamline customer service. The Washington Post reports that many carriers, including Southwest, United, and Delta, have shifted customer service agents away from phone banks and toward Twitter accounts. For the airlines, the advantage lies in speed and efficiency, and travelers get to feel like they are receiving personal attention. "I can handle three issues at once. Before, I could be stuck on one call for four hours and maybe help 80 people a day," says Karen Patrella, a former phone agent who now handles hundreds of inquiries a day on Twitter and Facebook. According to Patrella, 80 percent of cases submitted on social media are resolved without the need for a phone call.
While United is sending more customer support staff online, it doesn’t compare to KLM, which now has 135 social media agents available in 10 different languages, 24 hours a day. Check out the Post for more on how social media is changing airlines' customer service.